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Genome. 1998 Apr;41(2):236-43.

The light gene of Drosophila melanogaster encodes a homologue of VPS41, a yeast gene involved in cellular-protein trafficking.

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Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.


Mutations in a number of genes affect eye colour in Drosophila melanogaster; some of these "eye-colour" genes have been shown to be involved in various aspects of cellular transport processes. In addition, combinations of viable mutant alleles of some of these genes, such as carnation (car) combined with either light (lt) or deep-orange (dor) mutants, show lethal interactions. Recently, dor was shown to be homologous to the yeast gene PEP3 (VPS18), which is known to be involved in intracellular trafficking. We have undertaken to extend our earlier work on the lt gene, in order to examine in more detail its expression pattern and to characterize its gene product via sequencing of a cloned cDNA. The gene appears to be expressed at relatively high levels in all stages and tissues examined, and shows strong homology to VPS41, a gene involved in cellular-protein trafficking in yeast and higher eukaryotes. Further genetic experiments also point to a role for lt in transport processes: we describe lethal interactions between viable alleles of lt and dor, as well as phenotypic interactions (reductions in eye pigment) between allels of lt and another eye-colour gene, garnet (g), whose gene product has close homology to a subunit of the human adaptor complex, AP-3.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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